Introduction: Paper Jogger - Home Built

Here's a good example of avoiding something because you are vastly over thinking it. I'm writing this in case someone else wants a small occasional use paper jogger. My "proof of concept" prototype works so well that I'm perfectly happy with it as is. It isn't pretty, but sure works well. And it is very simple.

I do volunteer work for a local organization. I save the office paper that gets put out for recycling, remove staples and separate out the pages that were printed double sided. Then I pad it together using white Elmer's glue and a drop or two of food coloring (to make it pretty). I cut the padded 8.5 X 11 sheets into quarters (using a bandsaw) to make scratch pads. This happens about every 6 to 8 months and I'll have a stash of paper about 8 inches tall.

It is a noticeable pain to try to get the edges of paper to line up evenly. I've looked at paper joggers on line, and the new ones as well as the used are just too expensive for my limited needs. I downloaded and read paper jogger manuals, and they seemed complicated for what they did. No where could I find anything on a home made/shop built paper jogger. I finally decided I didn't have that much to lose. And that is what this Instructable is all about.

I ran across a pneumatic vibrator on eBay for under $20.

Step 1: The Vibrator

I needed a vibrator. On eBay I saw these pneumatic vibrators for under $20. Ordered one and hooked it up to air and was impressed. Doesn't take all that much air and it sure does vibrate a lot. Not terribly noisy. The picture above is representative of the one I purchased. The thing on the top left is some sort of quick connect for 1/8" airline (I think). It didn't get used in this project. The thing on the top right is a muffler for the exhaust side. I kept it.

What I purchased is a "Industrial type Pneumatic compressed air power turbine wheel type vibrator GT-8". There are dozens of sellers selling these. I suspect they are all the same within the size specified. I use 1/4" connectors and the ports on this are 1/8". So an 1/8" to 1/4" adapter was necessary, which I had on hand for airbrush connections.

Step 2: What to Mount It On.

A scrap of plywood made the "tray" to hold the paper. No specific dimensions, just large enough to readily hold the 8.5 X 11 paper I'm working with. Screwed and glued together like a drawer missing a side and the front. I honestly didn't expect this to work and didn't take any pictures of the cutting and assembly. It is just a simple 3 sided "box" or tray. Bottom, side and back.

Step 3: Where to Mount the Vibrator

This type of vibrator has a linear sort of vibration. It's little more than a metal box with toothed gear (the turbine) with offset weights mounted inside it. The air coming in pushes against the gear teeth causing it to spin and the offset weights make it vibrate. I knew I wanted to jog the paper in line with the tray, so I mounted the vibrator on what then became the end of the tray. I put it there to give me clearance for the air connection. Basically said "that looks like a good place", drilled for 1/4" flathead screws (2 of 'em) and bolted in on. Let the screw heads countersink themselves in the plywood. I don't believe there is anything critical here or anywhere else on this thing. I might try lowering it a bit to lower the center of gravity, but it isn't an issue.

Step 4: It Needs to Be at a Slope

Sitting upright, the paper would simple fall over, so it was pretty obvious it needs to be tipped toward both the back and end. I took a scrap piece of wood and scribed a line just before it wanted to tip over and cut out the angle that resulted. It's about 14 degrees. So it sits on the angle cut foot and one corner. Two screws shot in to hold it to the tray.

Step 5: Controlling the Air

I didn't' want this to be on continuously, so needed a valve of some sort. I had a foot operated valve from another tool and used it. Turned out to be a good choice. These are pretty inexpensive off eBay, the "Foot Pedal Control Valve 2 Position 3 Port 1/4" NPT Air Pneumatic Switch" going for under $20 should work well. This frees up both hands and also allows you to regulate the pressure and therefore the vibrations per minute. Various jogger manufactures talk about their vibrations per minute and the numbers they give seem to be all over the place. This was one of my big concerns, but that doesn't seem to be an issue. This little vibrator is supposedly putting out around 46,000 vibrations per minute at 87 PSI. I'm putting out around 100 unregulated and the paper does not seem to care how fast it gets vibrated.

Step 6: Mounting Hardware and Vibration Isolation

This was another big concern. Vibration isolators are kind of pricey and I just didn't want to invest any more than necessary. I got my prototype to the point the pictures show and gave it a try with no mounting of any sort and it works just great as is. The paper just sort of slides into alignment with the other sheets. It wants to go jittering off the table top, but with both hands free, I can keep it in place and maybe poke the reluctant sheet of paper into place with a finger. This all takes place in a matter of seconds, so it isn't a matter of standing there and waiting... and waiting.

I could build a corral of sorts to hold it there, but that is just a unnecessary complication at this point. Again, my apologies for not have pictures of it step by step, I never imagined it would work so well. It does everything I want, storage is nothing, no pieces to lose. Just plug and play - or jog.

Step 7: Future Changes or Modifications

The picture above is padding the paper. Elmer's glue with a couple drops of food coloring and brushed on. 2 coats. I inserted cardboard into the paper stack to give backs to the pads.

What I was after was function. Not meant to be pretty, just do a faster and better job than i could do by hand. And those requirements are satisfied. I may cut down the overall height of this. What's there isn't a problem, but it would make lifting the paper off easier. The video shown has a sort of "corral" I made to free up my hand for the camera. The thing wants to move in the direction of the vibrator and away from the edge of the table, probably because the top hangs over in that direction. Ideas or suggestions are welcomed. I hope this saves someone else from procrastinating over whether or not is is possible to build a paper jogger. It's a piece of cake.